Progression Pathways Required!

By the time this January 2022 Issue of Wickets is published, its
forty-second in succession, Canada’s youth cricketers would
have returned to their homes following their participation in
this year’s Caribbean hosted ICC U19 World Cup. The Canadians
lost all three of their St Kitts based Preliminary Round matches. As such they were then relegated
to participating in the Trinidad & Tobago hosted Plate Playoffs for their final three matches of
the tournament.
While Canada’s tournament overall may have been disappointing to some, it cannot in all
honesty be said to have been unexpected. The Canadians’ three Preliminary Round matches
were against formidable UAE, traditional powerhouse, and one of the tournament’s early
favorites England and defending champions Bangladesh in that order. No one in their right
minds would have realistically expected Canada to win any of those three matches.
As it turned out despite also
having entered the tournament
not having any played
competitive cricket for almost six
months, outside of the two official
warm-up matches before the
competition actually commenced,
Canada’s players gave a decent
account of themselves. They were
competitive throughout and some
of the individual performances
were highly commendable.
Among the batsmen, Anoop
Chima and Skipper Mihir Patel
were the standouts, both having
accumulated 100+ aggregates by
the end of the Preliminary Round.
For the bowlers Kairav Sharma,
Parmveer Kharoud, Sahil Badin
and Ethan Gibson were all among
the wickets. Chima’s glovework
as the team’s wicket-keeper was
also highly impressive.
The latest edition of the ICC
U19 World Cup having ended
for Canada’s youth cricketers
the million dollar question now
becomes what next? History
will show that for all the players
who have represented Canada
in its now eight ICC U19 World
Cups very few have progressed
further to ultimately becoming
active members of our Men’s National Senior
team. That’s an anomaly which needs to be
addressed fairly quickly, if not immediately
so that the demonstrated talents of the likes
of Chima, Patel, Sharma, Kharoud, Badin and
Gibson, indeed of all those who participated
in this year’s ICC U19 World Cup do not no
become lost entirely.
The best means of ensuring that this current
crop of U19 players are given their fair share of
chances to progress to the next level, would be
for the country’s existing Leagues to mandate
their involvement in competitive teams. All
Canadian cricket Leagues should as of this
coming Domestic Season mandate that all
their participating Club teams must include
at least two U23 players, a batsman, bowler
and/or a wicket-keeper as a alternative option.
Such a regulation would automatically ensure
that our players, who are between the ages of
19-23, receive sufficient competitive exposures
alongside their more senior and possibly
accomplished clubmates.
A second broader initiative that must be
considered and embraced, if not at a National
level then certainly by either the Provinces
or the Leagues themselves, would be U23
Development Tours to Caribbean countries
such as Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica during
the October-April time period. Because of
winter those six months are of course zero
outdoors activity dark periods for all Canadian
The sun still shines brightly as ever in the
Caribbean at that time, however, and tours
to only-five-plus hours-away destinations
such as Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica
with their respective very rich historical
cricketing culture would be ideal! Not only
in terms of the provided opportunities to
actually play some very competitive cricket
against local teams, but also with regards
to the potential opportunities to meet and
interact with many great former West Indies
players across all three of international
cricket’s current formats.
Sir Andy Roberts, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir
Curtly Ambrose and Sir Ritchie Richardson
in Antigua. The list of still available
Barbadians including the greatest cricketer
of all time Sir Garfield Sobers is equally as
long. Jamaica for its part can provide access
to the likes of the Universe Boss Christopher
Henry Gayle, Jeffrey Dujon and possibly
even Superman himself, Andre Russell.
The value for a young aspiring Canadian
U23 player of being exposed to such greats
would be immeasurable.
Two progression pathways that should be
fairly easy to establish, and which would
definitely be worth implementing. Over to
you Cricket Ontario, lead the way!

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